Letter from the Hintons
Yes, I sent you a letter. Isn’t it fun to connect through a letter again? Before computers, we
used to write letters to friends and loved ones all the time. We would get excited to open
the mailbox and see what goodies might be inside. I hope this letter finds you well. And my
family and I hope you know we are thinking of you this holiday season.
As communities bonded back together this year, I realized one of the biggest things I missed was connecting with people. I missed meaningfully connecting, having an intimate conversation, laughing together and sharing a hug with friends and family. This holiday season I want to experience people, hug them, laugh with them, share stories and “love on” each other. I chose the holiday guide theme this year, “You’re Cordially Invited to the Hinton Home” because I think we all want to hang out again with our closest friends and celebrate together. I hope this year’s guide inspires other women to open their home to their besties, get all dressed up- yes, even just to stay home! I hope this year’s guide inspires your family to lean into the traditions we loved from the past and host an intimate, chic, allergen-sensitive home event.
This past year our family has had a deep connection with a few close families in our community. We built deeper connections and have helped each other out over the past year with childcare, play dates, traded meals and even picked up grocery items for each other when we go to the store. I saw our kids build deeper relationships, walk between houses and down the street together laughing and enjoying life. We have visited forest preserves together, had summer fire pit nights and even gardened together. As winter is coming closer we find each other together once again in one of our kitchens canning and preserving food for the winter. Food preserved into marinara sauces, roasted tomatoes, brined pickles, jams and even bath salts to share with more neighbors in our community.
I remember how at first we would text each other before walking across the street or driving over. Before long we began to just show up and knock on the front door. Now we just walk around back and join in the daily chores, harvesting the garden or playing together on the swings we have hung from the tree. Our kids have learned how to build and light a campfire. They have learned how to identify trees, plants and herbs together both in our backyards and in the forest.
One of my fondest memories of 2021 was on a snowy day last spring when we ventured to the local forest preserve at the Des Plaines River and walked to the river as the trees were covered in snow, completely white from the night before. One of the times when the snow was untouched and beautiful, we all took our boots and socks off, stepping into the cold water to heal our bodies and reset our nervous systems. Franki made it the longest, and had to be told to step out of the water and dry her feet. Then we continued to walk through the snow covered forest for an hour enjoying the stillness and beauty of nature.
As spring came we planned and worked to enlarge our garden space, planting fruit trees and raspberry vines. I host a gardening workshop and several garden planning consultations. One of my favorites was planning a tea garden and driving to Jung Garden Center outside Madison, WI with the client to find the herbs for the tea garden. I loved this so much I came home and converted a space in my own homestead to an herbal tea garden. The girls and I planted citrus mint, catmint, lemon balm, thyme, hyssop and more in our herbal tea garden. We have made fresh tisanes all summer and fall, dried herbs and made bath salts from this garden.
So many fond memories of this past year revolve around times when our friends were close
and we were sharing time to create or celebrate the gifts from Mother Earth. As a family we
traveled to Starved Rock, to New Smyrna Beach in Florida, and I personally got to spend 4
days in the desert at Joshua Tree for a yoga retreat. I feel very blessed to have been able to
travel again with my family and enjoy our beautiful country.
This Holiday season our family sends blessings, recipes and more from our heart to your family. We want you to create and celebrate with your closest friends, neighbors and family. And if for some reason you do not have as many friends and family around you, my family and I cordially invite you to join us this holiday season online. Celebrate the gift of life, the gifts from Mother Nature and embrace the joy found in community. May we move forward together with warmth in our hearts and smiles on our faces.
With love always,
Tiffany, Will, Franki, Lillie and Josi
P.S. I have some big news coming. Check the back
of the Holiday guide for the re-birth and evolution
of GF Mom Certified and our new Hinton
Homestead projects. I have missed chatting with
you at the expos and live events. We are going to
be chatting together again real soon, stay tuned
and do not forget to follow @gfmomcertified to
enjoy this year’s festivities!